Födelsedagsfesten – Triakel

“Födelsedagsfesten” is filk song about a birthday party, with a convoluted history. It was first written by Swedish fan, sf author, translator, sf publisher etc Sam J. Lundwall. It was recorded a few times in the 70s by various artists but then languished undiscovered by anyone until Swedish folk trio Triakel did a cover in 1998. It is their version which is linked above.

From there it received a couple more covers, and also was discovered by Swedish LARPers, among which it became very popular. They have also written new lyrics to the tune, both minor changes and full rewrites.

Triakel commissioned English lyrics by Alistair Cochrane when releasing their CD, that is fully singable as far as I know:

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

There once was a farmer who lived in the north,
He was now half a century old
And his guests came a-travelling the long, winding road,
One hundred or more all told.
He had laid in enough of the finest of food
For a three week feast, so it seemed,
And deep in the larder, in row upon row,
The bottles of booze stood and gleamed.

(Chrous: Faddy doo dum day, faddy dee and faddy da,
Drink up and fight with your friends.
For it’s laughter and song the whole night long
Till the birthday party comes to an end.)

Well the feasting began and the strong liquor ran
In and out of every glass,
With brandy and whisky and strong ale and rum,
The first hours of evening passed.
And they ate and they drank and they talked and they joked,
There was singing and laughter and fun,
Till the first of the quarrelling and fighting broke out
And the party had really begun.

(Chorus)

With their knives in their hands they shouted and swore
As they challenged each other to fight,
And the womenfolk lamented and cried by the door,
As usual on a party night.
Then the farmer decided to join in the fray,
And he looked both furious and grim,
Till Johnny the Ripper appeared in his way –
And that was the end of him.

(Chorus)

The farmer’s wife grew as angry as a bee
And she started to curse and to yell,
Till the men picked her up and carried her away,
And flung her into the well.
And then they went back to get on with their fun,
Smashing lamps in the heat of the fight,
And the fire slowly spread from the floor to the walls
Till the whole of the house was alight.

(Chrous)

At the dawn of the day the sun cast its rays
On the tops of the hills and the trees.
It shone on the scene where the farmhouse had been
And the smoke drifting by on the breeze.
The farmer’s wife still clung for her life
To the edge of the deep, dark well,
And the last brief noise was the echo of  her voice
And a splash from the depths as she fell.

(Chorus)

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